Higher risk factor for diabetes after Covid, says head of local diabetes association

Tengku Puteri Nor Zehan (left) with artist Mimi Lee-Pat pointing out the intricate details of her work. Tengku Nor Zehan who officiated the Passion art exhibition at the Galerie Du Monde, has been a strong supporter of fund raising projects by Diabetes Malaysia Selangor Branch since 2010 when she opened its community diabetic resource centre in Klang.
Datin Paduka Dr. Shanta Kumari says about 50 percent of Malaysians with diabetes are not aware that they are diabetic.

PETALING JAYA, May 26 – Studies are finding that there is a higher risk of getting diabetes after being infected with Covid-19, says Datin Paduka Dr. Shanta Kumari, the Chairman of Diabetes Malaysia Selangor Branch.

Citing a recent research report published in the medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, she said several other studies also indicated that Covid-19 can increase a person’s risk of diabetes, months after infection.

The report authored by Ziyad Al-Aly and Xan Xie from St Louis Healthcare System in Missouri were based on the study of the medical records of more than 180,000 people who had survived for longer than a month after getting Covid-19.

Speaking to Weekly Echo following an art exhibition held at the La Galerie Du Monde in aid of the diabetes association, Dr Shanta said while more research are being done in the area, other factors could be also contributing to the rise in diabetes among the people.

“Fifty percent of Malaysians with diabetes are not even aware that they are diabetic. Hence, prevention and the management of diabetes must continue to be given strong emphasis. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and diet can be helpful in preventing the disease and for those who are already taking medication, it is important that they follow the routine as high sugar will start to damage other organs in the body.”

Meanwhile on the Diabetes Resource Centre in Taman Chi Liung run by the association, Dr Shanta said they hoped to restart their activities soon in line with the re-opening of various sectors under the Covid-19 transition phase to endemicity.

Chairman of Diabetes Malaysia Selangor Branch Chairman Datin Paduka Dr.Shanta Kumari speaks to Weekly Echo on the Klang Diabetic Resource Centre and how a community centre to care for diabetic patients can play an important role in the management and care of diabetics.

“All activities had to be put on hold during the Covid-19. But we hope to restart with our awareness and educational programmes, which are usually carried out in public places like malls, as well as during our outdoor activities like aerobics, walkathons and health talks.”

The community based centre itself was established to make it easier for people around the area to come over to the centre as part of their diabetic management. Prior to Covid-19, various support services were offered to diabetic patients including blood screenings.

The centre also provides foot care advice, nail cutting, callus reduction and anodyne treatment for those with peripheral neuropathy. These are offered on appointment basis by the diabetic foot care nurse in the weekends.

On the art exhibition – PASSION – which featured the works of sisters Mimi Lee-Pat and Kien Shan Lee and also that of their late grandfather, a renowned artist Lee Kah Yeow, Dr Shanta said she was immensely grateful to the sisters who had donated their works for sale at the event.

She also expressed her appreciation to the owner of the La Galerie Du Monde in Jalan Gasing for this support for the event.

“We hope to use the proceeds for the many activities and programmes we are planning this year.”

Those who would like to support the association through the purchase of the art pieces can still do so by calling 012 2092728.